I bought yarn I didn’t need

But wait, I can explain! I did it for the experience. Yes, the experience!

I went to La Droguerie, in Paris. I had read about them online, and it’s a very different experience than visiting a US shop.


This shop is located at 9 and 11 Rue du Jour, just off Rue Rambuteau, right next to Les Halles. It’s a 15 minute walk from our apartment in le Marais. Pictures are not allowed inside, but here’s a view from across the street.


You can see that the yarn hangs in hanks along the walls, but these are just samples of the yarn by type and color. I decided I wanted linen, which they carry in about DK weight, in a deep purple (violet, but I think of it as eggplant). I asked for it in French, 200 grams. The clerk went to the back wall, climbed a ladder, brought down a cone, and wound off the required amount.


It’s really not this blue; I can’t get the camera to capture the eggplant-iness of it.

The rest of the store is lovely, too. There’s a wall of buttons, and if you want some, they get them out of wooden boxes and drawers for you. There are jars of beads, and you have to ask for them; they’ll get those out for you, too. Definitely not US do-it-yourself, but a fun experience. And now I have some lovely French linen to play with!

21 responses to “I bought yarn I didn’t need

  1. Beautiful shop. I would LOVE shopping that way. Nobody would be pawing my yarn before I bought it and you only buy exactly what you need.

    There is a shop in Haddonfield, NJ that only puts out samples. She gets YOUR yarn from the stock closet. Stays nice and clean that way.

    • You know, I hadn’t thought of it quite that way. For me, it was a little intimidating because I was navigating the interaction in French, but if I were fluent it would have been easy.

      They have lovely pattern books, too. I read on another blog that you can’t buy pattern books without buying yarn, but I didn’t have any experience with that since patterns in French would be more work for me to use. But the process reminds me of going to the fabric store, choosing a pattern, and then choosing fabric and having it measured and cut. Cool!

  2. I’m so envious of you. I’ve only been to Paris once, and I LOVED it. That store sounds like a wonderful experience. Nice yarn.

    • It’s a beautiful city, old and historic, and modern and vibrant at the same time. One of my favorite places. Our first time in Paris was 10 years ago. I hope it’s not another 10 before we visit again!

  3. Oh la laaaa. This is in my “to-visit” list 😀

    That’s gorgeous linen. In the Bay Area, there is a button shop that is set up that way. Everything is in display and case. Want to see something? The salesperson will get it for you to see.

    • I did my homework on Ravelry before going, so I knew I wanted the linen. Then it was just a matter of choosing a color! The clerk made a beeline for the red; I think she thought it would be a good color for me. But this purple was so rich, I just had to have it.

  4. Interesting! The glimpse of the hanging skeins is tempting.

  5. Lucky duck!

    It really does sound far more civilized than what we have here.

  6. I got my wallet and identity stolen in Paris nearly 30 years ago, and the police and embassy weren’t helpful. Let’s just say had this happened after 9/11 there is no way I’d be allowed to get back home.

    That said, next time you’re in Florence you must go to Madova for gloves. It’s about as big as your closet and you walk in and they place your elbow on a silk pillow so they know your size (no measurements, they just know) and they ask what you want. Pink or orange or I just wanted above-the-wrist navy silk-lined gloves. Done. Amazing! It’s like buying men’s clothing here by size. Here’s the shirt I want and here are the socks. Done! Of course trying on shoes or pants would be ridiculous but that’s what weekends are for! Have some steak frites for me, my dear.

    • DH had his pocket picked when we were in Paris 10 years ago, but we just cancelled his cards and went on our merry way. Good thing his passport was back in the hotel!

  7. If I bought only yarn I NEEDED I’d never get to visit shops! 🙂

    • Not being much of a stasher, I go more for the experience. And this one was quite the experience! So I had to buy something, browsing just wasn’t going to do it. A perfect souvenir!

  8. Wow! What a fabulous experience in such an amazing shop!

  9. That’s cool! Winding it off would get me just what i need, not 7/8ths of a $20 skein too much.

  10. How did I miss that you went to Paris? (Or are currently in?) Wow!

  11. Michelle, In Paris ten years ago, I hoped to see knitters here & there bu did not. Perhaps Knitting in Public does not work with Parisians.

    Thanks for coming by my blog and filling with info on the old Montgomery Ward store. Hope to find you at OFF on Saturday 9/22 …my knitting is definitely in the slow lane but Ron keeps turning out hat after hat. yours, naomi

    • I didn’t see any knitters in public in Paris, either, but I don’t think the metro is a very good place for knitting! Hops are short and trains are crowded. Maybe the bus, but I never took one. I did knit on the train from Amsterdam to Bruges, and Bruges to Paris, and round trip Paris-Reims. But I was the only knitter…

      I’ll be at OFFF on Saturday afternoon. Hope to see you there!

  12. gosh isn’t purple hard to capture? I sympathise. I struggle too.